Since the passing of Johnny Carson, I’ve seen Doc Severison on several talk shows, culminating in tonight’s gig on the Letterman show. He still sounds great.
My recollection from years ago was that Doc could really play, making me wonder how he stacks up against the all-time greats. His playing is definitely different from Armstrong, Miles, Baker and Marsalis. I know this kind of thing is really subjective, but would like your thoughts.
BTW, I’ve heard a lot about Tom Harrell. Good stuff. Can you confirm?
Well, in my sincere (if slightly snarky) opinion, Severinsen and Marsalis have in common their rather trotted-through and unfaithful renditions of Abblasen (used as the theme for CBS News Sunday Morning). I really wish they would bring back the baroque trumpet and a performer who wishes to play the piece traditionally.
In general, his tone seems a little tight for me; I like what sems to be a looser embouchure, such as Baker’s and I think Marsalis’s. But, he certainly cuts through well, and he fits very well with the context of big-band jazz in my opinion.